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Log Title: Thirsty on Main

Characters: Swindle , Takedown , Nightbird , Thunderblast . Blast Off

Location: Golden Stopcock - Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron

Date: September 28, 2020

TP: Combaticons TP

Summary: Swindle journies to Valvolux to talk to Takedown about his 'issue'.


As logged by Swindle

TFU - Monday September 28, 2020


Golden Stopcock - Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron

Swindle

In addition to delivering a message to one of Takedown's fellow Dominicons, Swindle has been seeking other avenues to try and make it known to Takedown that he'd like to conversate with her. Of course, being Swindle, his method involves finding low ranking members of the city's security forces and passing the same message on to them: that he's in Valvolux, that he wants to talk to her and that he can be found at the Golden Stopcock. To sweeten the deal, he even includes a note that the first drinks are on him.


The Golden Stopcock bills itself as the best pub in Valvolux, and it lasted through combat and sieges to prove it. The barkeep, Caliburn, is a retired boxer who pours engex with scarred gauntlets. He doesn't care whom he serves, so long as they have shanix to pay. As the city has recovered, business has returned and the atmosphere here is livelier than it has been in many a vorn. Those picking a fight, however, are encouraged to take it to the Arena instead.)


Not long after Swindle start seeding his messages across town, Takedown slips into the Stopcock. She scans around the room, taking in each customer present before alighting her smirking gaze on Swindle. Crossing the room with a deliberate sway of her armored hips, she slides in next to the shorter Combaticon. "Hey there, soldier," says with a smile. "What totally legitimate business brings you back to Valvolux?"


To his everlasting relief, Swindle doesn't yelp when Takedown sidles over to him. He positioned himself so he could keep an optic on the entrance, after all. Old habits die hard, particularly old habits aimed at not dying. Or... something like that. He watches Takedown move across the room, not +quite+ swinging his head in time with her hips.He grins back as she slides in next to him. "Hey, yourself," he says, shifting to get a better look at her, and maybe showing off that he's gotten cleaned up for this meeting. Full detailing, even. "A mech can't want to talk to an old friend? Talk over old times? Y'wound me, TeeDee, y'wound me."


Takedown chuckles. "So talk," she replies gamely. "But first, I want that drink!" Takedown signals to Caliburn. "Secret Mecha, please," she orders. "On Swindle's tab." She looks back at Swindle. "They do let you open a tab here, don't they? Or have they been warned?" she laughs. While she waits for her drink, she settles in more comfortably next to Swindle, turned slightly so she can talk down to him (maybe in more ways than one). "So, what's on your mind?" she asks at last.


Swindle puts a hand on his chest, the very picture of wounded innocence, until he grins. "Of course! I never cheat a bartender!" he says, though someone with good audials could probably hear an asterisk or two in that sentence. "Without bars, I can't access ninety percent of my customers! “He gestures at Caliburn. "A Secret Mecha for the jackbooted thug with the suspicious mind an' a Daydream Believer for me." His optics twinkle. "I'd get something harder, but the company is intoxicating enough."


Takedown smirks. "Oh, man. If you're greasing me up this badly, you must be in trouble!" she laughs. She waits until the drinks are delivered, and then sips hers slowly. "So, spill it, Swindle. As much as I'd like to believe you're here to help plan our next festival in beautiful downtown Valvolux, you've got that familiar aura of desperation that often leads to Bad Things -- usually for you."


Swindle waits until Takedown's taken her first sip, pausing to drag over a bowl of free bar nibbles -- because no Combaticon ever has turned down free food in any form. "Okay, first of all? If I did help with a festival, you guys'd have people lined up for klicks wanting to get in. Ain't no party like a Combaticon party." He pops a few copper curls into his mouth, crunching them into filings before washing it all down with a sip from his drink.


Takedown chuckles. "Oh, I dunno about that. The dancing is definitely better at Dominicon parties," she chuckles. She ignores the snacks, focusing all of her considerable powers of perception on the Combaticon before her. "We do tend to pay for our own supplies these days, however, which is certainly a real drag," she admits with a grin.


Swindle's optics flicker at the mention of Dominicon dancing. "Yeah, well, we're not built to be graceful," he says, then focuses back on what was just said. "Yeah? What kinda supplies are you guys needing? From what I can see, the city's runnin' pretty efficiently but maybe I could help you guys out with any supply chain issues you're having?"


Takedown smiles in delight. "Oh, so helpful!" She picks up one of those copper curls at last, but instead of eating it, holds it close to Swindle's mouth as if to feed it to him. "And to what would I owe this offer of -" She frowns suddenly, as if getting a radio message. "Well, well," she says. "After a recent drop of Decepticon activity, tonight I get your lovely visit, and now the Megatron's pet ninja as well. Any idea why she'd be here?" Takedown asks.


Swindle nips at the copper curl -- because, again, free food. In front of his face. Held by -- waitasecond. "...Nightbir?" he says, frowning. "Not a clue." He grins. 'Not unless she's another ex of yours?"


Takedown feeds Swindle the copper curl and picks up another one. "Ha!" she laughs at Swindle's suggestion. "I don't date walking toasters!" She smirks. "She doesn't even talk. Guess that's not something Megatron looks for in a... servant," she shakes her head. "Still, I heard you Cons were banned from Valvolux, so I'm surprised to hear of you both just strolling in as you please - not that you're not welcome always," she coos teasingly.


Swindle knows he's being toyed with and....doesn't entirely mind. "Well, glad t'know I'm not classed as kitchen equipment," he says, looking expectantly from the curl to Takedown. "Y'know me, if I want to go some place, I figure out a way to get there. As for why Herself is here, beats me with a club."


Takedown sits next to Swindle, pursing her lips as she feeds him copper curls. "Ooh, beating you with a club sounds fun, but I don't think it's why you're here, is it?" she asks him with a raised optic ridge. "I wouldn't turn down some munitions help usually, but I have to wonder - what's in it for you, besides my dazzling smile of thanks?" She picks up her drink, swirling it around in its cube. She then leans back, taking a sip and studying Swindle's response.


Swindle shrugs. "Well, if the deal needs a sweetener," he says, sounding maybe 87 joking. His optics sparkle and he rubs his hands together. "Oooh, munitions help, is it? Just for you personally or the city as a whole? 'Cause, either way, I'm your boy an' I might be induced to give a bulk discount. As for why I'm here...well..." He pauses, glancing about the area, before turning back to Takedown. He lowers his voice, his face and posture serious for the moment. "How good are your medics here in Valvolux?"


Nightbird's arrival into the bar is heralded as more then a few beings near the door scatter quickly as Megatron's assassin walks into the bar openly, not even attempting to hide in any fashion. A brief pause at the door before she continues towards the bar itself.


Takedown seems open to the idea of Swindle's help, her expression open as he makes his initial pitch. When he gets serious, however, Takedown frowns, especially when he asks about medical expertise. "Swindle, are you OK?" she asks, her air of cool teasing slipping to reveal a touch of general concern. Her attention is quickly diverted, however, as Nightbird boldly saunters into the saloon.


Behind the bar, without even looking up, Caliburn grabs the interactive menu tablet and sets it on the bar in case Nightbird wants to order something non-verbally.


Swindle licks his lips, metaphorically speaking, sensing the change in Takedown's voice. He vents a sigh, looking toward the door at the sound of people scattering away from Nightbird's entrance. He takes a moment to watch her approach the bar, then ducks his head, looking down at his hands. "...depends how you define, 'okay,'" he says. "Structurally, I'm good but..."


Nightbird moves to stand near the bar, a hand raising up and takes the offered tablet.. finger dancing along it as she scans the menu, the Ninjacon pausing at something in particular before she taps it and nudges the tablet back towards the bartender. She finally turns around and leans back against the bar and looks over those there... clearly dismissing most with barely a glance, her gaze never stopping even after passing over where Swindle and Takedown sit.


Takedown's optics are on Nightbird, but her words are for Swindle. "How are you not OK, Swindle? Things must be bad if you're coming to US for help. You know Widget is good, and we have a lot of skilled craftsmechs here... not to mention Bulwark and slaggin' *Solus Prime*. So, yeah, we have the resources. The question is - what's the problem?"


Caliburn takes the tablet back, glances at it, and nods. He mixes Nightbird's drink with as much or as little respect as he offers anyone else who walks in his bar. "Here ya go," he says when it's done. "One Salty Shadow." He smirks as if he finds something amusing.


GAME: Swindle FAILS a COURAGE roll of Average difficulty.


Swindle looks up to stare into Takedown's face. He opens his mouth as if he's about to say something, then stops, looking at her with something akin to panic in his face. "I--I..." He starts and stops, stuttering like a vacuum drone stuck on a doorsill. "I...Vortex can't get drunk!" He says this as if it not only is a sensible thing someone might say but also as if he's revealing a horrible thing. "Like...like not at all."


Nightbird turns a bit to get her drink, bringing it up to her mask which shimmers just a bit as she presses the edge of the glass to her face and sips slowly, the Femme clearly enjoying the drink.. as well as the edge that seems to permeate the other attendees


Now Takedown turns her full attention to Swindle. "Well, that's certainly odd," she says carefully. "And how about you, Swindle? Is this all about concern for your brother in arms, or is the problem personal as well?" She stares down at Swindle, her flirting demeanor gone. In its place is her tell-the-truth lie-detector gaze, almost daring Swindle to tell her some Predslag she'd have to beat him down for.


GAME: Swindle FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Very High difficulty.


Swindle is not a stupid mech by any conventional measure of intelligence. His more...differently smart...moments can generally be chalked up to him having poor impulse control and a boredom threshold so low it's practically a trench. Even knowing Takedown as he does, knowing that look on her face and what it means and what it's meant in the past, he considers lying to her. Even with his entire plan on the line, the idea of simply telling her the truth about what he wants and why he wants her to help him just rubs him so, so wrong. "...I got no filter," he says, his shoulders slumping, his posture one of defeat in the face of odds that are surmountable, but he doesn't want to make the effort. "Like, I *can* lie but it's hard for me to *want* to. G'wan, ask me something you know I'd BS you on. Test me out."


Nightbird turns back towards the bar, putting the drink down upon it again as she pulls the tablet back towards her, tapping on it before she types in something, taking a moment to pay for it before she gets up and starts walking towards the exit.. before she raises a hand and wiggles her fingers, though she does not look at Swindle, the impression is very clear that is who it is towards as she leaves.


Takedown's optics slowly widen in sympathetic horror. At some point, a part of her brain will kick in that will want to take advantage of this situation for the benefit of Valvolux in general and herself in particular, but first - just pure, unfiltered dawning shock at how it must be to be Swindle in this situation. She can't even think of a gotcha question to test Swindle's veracity. Just in his defeated demeanor she can tell it's true.

Instinctively Takedown reaches out a hand to touch Swindle's forearm to see if he's OK. "That's... terrible!" she exclaims at last. "I mean, it's probably objectively good, but... that's horrible!" Takedown gasps, mouth open in naked pity.


A few of the other bar patrons look over, but with Megatron's pet assassin at the bar, most have started to finish their drinks, pay their tabs, and quickly but quietly depart. Caliburn nods to Nightbird at her last order. He fixes two drinks, and as she leaves, delivers them to Swindle's table. An Extreme Ener-Tea for Takedown... and a Hanging Mech for Swindle


Swindle flinches as he's touched, but doesn't jerk away from Takedown. If anything, he freezes. "...you're beautiful," he says. "I shouldn't have let you get away." His face takes on a look of dawning horror of its own as he realizes that he's saying the quiet part *out @#$@ loud*. He glances at the drink, then blinks and laughs a nervous, slightly hysterical laugh as he realizes what it is. "...oh great, never been threatened via drink before. Had more'n a few thrown in my face, followed by the stein but..." He pulls himself together. "I wanna talk to Illarion."


Takedown's optics widen even more until they look like they might pop out of her head. "Wow. You ARE in a bad way," she says in response to his admission and runaway train of thought. "OK," she says with a sigh. "I'll see what I can do. You might want to lay low in the meantime, though. With you like this... you're going to be the mark of everyone you've ever crossed." Of course, Takedown might consider herself to be in that category...


Swindle laughs. "...yeah, tell me about it!" he says, looking up at her with a grin. "...so...know of any safe havens for a battle-hardened merc down on his luck?"


Takedown stands, looking down at Swindle. "If you're thinking my bunk," she tells him. "Think again." She downs her free drink, glancing at the door. "I'd suggest staying in Valvolux for now - I'll have my people look out for you and try to keep you alive at least while you're in town. In the meantime, I'll find Illarion and see if she's willing to help. It might be a tough sell after some of the stuff you've pulled, but... maybe if she sees your poor wounded-puppycon face, she'll relent. I make no promises." After glancing at Caliburn to make sure her drinks have been paid, she prepares to exit the bar.


Thunderblast would enter over in just in time to hear a comment by Swindle. "There's always a mortuary. You'll probably end up there or send someone there soon enough." She would deadfemme.


Swindle mimes snapping his fingers in disappointment. "...was worth a shot," he says, grinning at her. "..but, y'know, thanks. I'll do my best to behave...moderately well." He looks over at Thunderblast. "Hey, if they got an empty slab, I've slept worse places."


Takedown looks down at Thunderblast as she leaves, but says nothing. She's on a mission. To save Swindle? We'll see.


Thunderblast would look over at Swindle, "Oh babe, I've heard stories. You seem to end up over in all the slabs." She would tease over while clicking the shells on her back that formed her boatmode over. "I thought a slab would be an improvement."


Swindle smirks. "Beats a filing cabinet, sure," he says. "But, for preferences? Gimme a mercury mattress. Ever slept on one? its like floating on a cloud. Best recharge I ever had in my life."


Thunderblast would shrug, "Can't say I have. Did once go into stasis when I was going through the Toxic Swamps. Don't think it was quite the same thing."


Swindle shakes his head. "Nahh, nowhere near the same thing," he says. "You have not lived until you've spent the night at Lord Gyconi's Temple of the 999 delights on Monacus, in one of the high roller's suites. It's like, heaven but they have a guy to keep the riff raff out."


Thunderblast would glance at the bar, "Thanks for the advise but I'll pass on somewhere ruled by someone that has the name Gyconi. That's just bad standards if they're going to have someone lead them called that."


Swindle shrugs. "Your loss," he says. "Place is amazing. I go back there as often as I can, which isn't often enough. If I could live anyplace, it'd be Monacus. The Dark Side, main drag..." He sighs, wistfully. "..helluva place."


Thunderblast would let out a sigh, "If I'm wanting wretched hives of scum and easily affordable villainy, I don't have to bother heading off-planet. I can just look at my comrades in arms and other weaponized paraphernalia."


Swindle shrugs again. "Yeah, but do your comrades in arms have some of the loosest slots in this spiral arm of the galaxy? I think not," he says. "Plus, there's the buffet an' the gladiatorial combat an' the shows...oh...the shows. They got this one place with these femmes who can...well, flexible doesn't begin to cover it."


Thunderblast would go to tap at her chin, "Well, I mean, I have had to fight with the Terrorcons and I think that we can definitely say they have more than just a few slots loose of them. And Spiral arms.. Well, you seen Mindwarp when he's going to try and do all those spiral things? And.. Gladiatorial games, really?" She would deadfemme at him. "And let me guess, like Six Flags over Cybertron, but with their torso plates not quite belted?"


Swindle snorts. "Nahh, nahh, it's a tasteful place," he says. "S'like a review or something. Classy kinda thing."


Thunderblast mm-hmms, "I see. I also guess it was affordable? There was this place that was.. Well, where I was soldered at that had that, but a bit less tasteful."


Swindle shrugs. "Affordable? Nahhh, but y'gotta pay for quality," he says. "That's just the way of the universe."


Thunderblast would lean in, "Well.. It was free. I mean.. It was nice. It had a dockyards." She would then add, "Sorry, not the type for ships. Spaceships, I mean. Every now and then they'd have a decommissioning when something came off of them. When it was being taken apart, salvaged, and they'd look over her condition as the exterior came off."


Swindle nods. "Free, free's not bad,' he says. "But y'know, sometimes you get what you pay for, with free."


Thunderblast would lean back, "It was fun on a quiet night. Everyone would go in, get overenergized and as more parts went off chant 'take it off! Take it all off' until they were down to the frame.."


A tall, dark figure enters the Golden Stopcock, striding in with poise and a certain elegance... and a certain ego. Blast Off stops to look around the bar. He was in the area anyway and picked up Swindle's signal and decided to stop by... but knowing his teammate, he might be in the middle of a business transaction. Unlike SOME of his other teammates, Blast Off can respect finesse and business saavy and QUIET things and knows better than to simply barge in. So, he merely appears, looking about, without saying anything.


Swindle is sitting at the bar, a couple unfinished drinks in front of him. He seems relaxed and at his ease, leaning against the bar as he engages in conversation with Thunderblast. "Kinky," he says, with a smirk. "Sounds like a few firebases I've been stationed at in my time."


Thunderblast would sigh, "Yeah, the things we'd do to pass the time. Sure place is a barren wasteland, but you still sort of miss it a long time later. And.. By firebase do you mean that it was on fire or used as a strategic site to burn things?"


Ah, there he is, talking to a pretty femme. Ahhh. Blast Off lifts an optic ridge, then turns to order himself a drink. That comes first. Second, with glass in hand, he begins making his way towards his teammate to sort of... just stand there in the background. It's... actually something he does quite a lot anyway, his dark colors helping him blend in. He stands there and if Swindle cares to notice him, he can. Blast Off siiiips his enerwine.


Swindle's optic ridge goes up. "A fire support base," he says. "Y'know, where the big guns go acka-acka-foom an' make the enemy all dead and stuff?" He reaches over for one of his drinks and takes a sip. "Hey, Blast Off," he says.


As Blast Off ever so deftly manages to fade into the background.. Someone treats him as such. In this case as a very large coat made out of some sort of stretchy fabric is lopped about his head as someone entered.


"I'm aware. Generally the ones I've been on have been the ones that are being fired on and exploding is all." Thunderblast would go on


"Swindle," comes Blast Off's flat reply, giving his teammate a short nod before sipping some more of his wine, also giving Thunderblast a tiny nod if she happens to look his way. The shuttle looks newly repaired, heat shields on his arms rather shiny and new, and most of his body is polished as usual- but his rocket feet are dusty and dinged from all the *walking* he's had to do. He's about to sip again when *thunk*.

The sniper's armor plates raise and bristle and he sputters in indignation, grabbing the coat with a *hufff* and coldly lopping it onto the floor, while glaring at the perpetrator. "Do I LOOK like room service?" HOW DARE.


Swindle snorts. "Yeah, wouldn't know anything about that," he says, dryly. "Bein' a Combaticon, I don't see much in the way of firefights." He smirks as Blast Off gets be-coated. "Here," he says, sliding one of his drinks over toward Blast Off. "You look like you could use something stronger'n wine."


There's another comment from someone (the one that had just thrown the coat over on Blast Off). "Yes you do. Now be a good chap and get me something. Chop chop cheerio now. Do a decent job of it and there will be a tip for you." DAMMIT. Now a giant floppy hat is thrown on him.


Thunderblast would glance at Swindle, "I mean, you're a Combaticon so I thought you would know. I thought it was kind of required that our forward operating bases tended to be.. Well, not really operating."


Swindle shakes his head. "I don't spend a lot of time at FOBs," he says. "Not unless we're getting repairs or maybe resupplying. We're either out in the thick of it or at a firebase, getting ready to go out to the thick of it."


Blast Off eyes the drink Swindle slides towards him, reaching for it, armor plates still bristling slightly, then looking down at the drink in his hand- then Swindle. Before any drinking commences he asks, "...How much will this cost me?" This IS Swindle, after all.

Then... there's... THIS GUY. Blast Off HUFFFs again, staring at this unwashed mass in disbelief. The floppy hat is karate chopped off before it can land. "...." He continues to stare at the person before muttering to Swindle, "...Swindle, if I shoot this hooligan, how badly would that mess up your dealings here?" The sniper's hand twitches, but then... optics flicker. "....Wait, how *much* of a tip?"


Thunderblast nods, "Huh, you tend to get out of them before they get set on fire. Or when they're not bases anymore." Since the Decepticon propensity for destruction perhaps also includes their -own- assets out of sheer boredom.


"See what you did to my -mahvelous- awtire! Now get it up and make sur eit's nice and clean." IT's that -tone- of voice. Of a sincere nincompoop. A prinny (of the non penguin kind)


Swindle shrugs. "A favor t'be named later," he says to Blast Off. "I talked to Takedown t'night. She's going to talk to her boss about maybe helping us." He pauses. "Well, me but I'm going to ask her for help for all of us."


Blast Off turns back to this presumptuous nincompoop, optics flashing. He hears Swindle, muttering, "...I see. Good." But... no word from Swindle on the pros or cons on actually shooting this jerk. Well then. The sniper's hand twitches again, trigger finger feeling itchy now. "Unless you're going to pay me an *extraordinary* amount of shanix, I'd rather be a *groundpounder*." Blast Off answers the fop coldly, setting down the drink Swindle offered him. Seems he'll not be needing to do that favor today.


Oooh? Now this ever so lazily has Thunderblast's attention as she would breezily go on and just focus on being part of the furniture. But *not* so much part of the furniture that she could pass as Blast Off.


The 'fop' as one might call them would shrug, amble over to the side while muttering about the poor state of Monacus.


Swindle snickers, taking another drink. "Well, right now you *are* a groundpounder, aren't you?" he says.


Those optics grow wider and brighter before Blast Off *HUFFFs* again, loudly, and finishes his wine only to slam the empty glass in front of Swindle. "I do NOT have to stand here and TAKE this... this tomfoolery from the likes of YOU!" HUFFFF. He turns and *hufffs* in the direction of the fop- "Or YOU!"- and then strides quickly away, armor still bristling.

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